Human rights in in the foreign policy of France and the European Union [fr]

The promotion and protection of human rights and democratisation processes is also a major component in the foreign policy of France and the European Union.


Belonging to the multilateral institutions, France plays an active part in the UN Human Rights Council, based in Geneva. Together with its European partners, it supports Council resolutions concerning regions and countries where human rights are seriously and systematically violated. France also presses for the universal ratification of conventions that protect human rights.


France also takes part to several United Nations bodies created to monitor the implementation of divert conventions in the field of Human Rights.


Among its European counterparts, France also monitors the compliance of the members of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) with the commitments they have made to fundamental liberties and democratic institutions. Through its belonging to the Council of Europe, France also accepts the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights and other protection mechanisms created after the ratification of other conventions and additional protocols.


Please click on the following link for more details on the French policy regarding human rights in multilateral institutions:


Through its belonging to the European Union, for which Human rights have always been central, France fully participate to the actions undertaken aiming at protecting and promoting Human Rights in and outside European borders. In this light, the focus of the Union’s human rights policy is on civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. It also seeks to promote the rights of women and of children as well as of minorities and displaced persons.


All agreements on trade or cooperation with third countries contain a clause stipulating that human rights are an essential element in the relations between the parties.


The European Union created several instruments, such as the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights, and implements several protection programs (fight against discrimination, human trafficking…). Considering that Human rights defenders play a key role in defending fundamental rights and in protecting victims of violations of these rights and that often, they are themselves targets of attacks and threats, it is therefore important to ensure their safety and protection.


This has always been a key component of the external policy of the European Union (EU) in the field of human rights. In order to improve its action in this field, the EU made public the orientations of its strategy regarding Human Rights defendeurs, implemented as part of its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).


These guidelines are available in the 3 languages on the website of the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives

Online 24/01/2012

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